The Japanese companies are still trying to understand character and inspiration. They often focus so hard at making a bike perform flawlessly they never take a step back and consider the riding experience as a whole.
I wonder how the comparison would had played out if other Euro brands had been included such as Triumph, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, KTM, Aprilia, etc
When I think about riding excitement, inspired design and styling, Japanese brands don't jump to the forefront. Maybe once upon a time but certainly not now, at least for me.
People always focus on the big players but so many find great happiness in the shadows as it were.
Harley and BMW sell a lifestyle or statement that goes along with the bike.
13 MG Stelvio NTX
09 Kawi KLR650
00 Suzi DRZ400-S